#51 Salt & Pepper

51-salt-pepper

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Daddy died March 29, 1962, over a half century ago. I was 10 years old. He was 62.

Now I am 62.

You can imagine March 29 this year has been on my mind a lot lately. I am healthy, still feel young and strong (until I do something stupid at this age), so it’s hard to imagine my dad looking like such an old man when he passed away at only 62 years old.

But he always looked like an old man to me, and I loved him for it. That’s one reason I’ve always respected my elders. You see, my dad was 51 years old when I was born. Already he had salt & pepper hair, and still a full head of it in the casket. That’s how I’ve always seen and remembered him: with this beautiful, wavy salt & pepper hair that I wanted when I grew old. Well, I have it. Mine’s more solid gray, but that’s okay. It still reminds me of Daddy. (I never called him Dad, always Daddy as I was only 10 when he died. So if it sounds silly that I still call him Daddy, well that’s okay…it just sounds right to me.)

I could tell you a lot about this man I loved and admired, and I will. But one thing that is absolutely fascinating is that Andrew J. De Simone was born December 31, 1899. That’s the last day of the century before last! Which meant he was always the same exact age as whatever year it was—to the day. That’s why it’s a little confusing to comprehend he was 51 when I was born in 1951. And he was 62 when he died in 1962. (more…)

#41 Whiter & Brighter

This month’s piece for the Advertising Slogans series features a term that described the sheets & shirts & underwear hanging on the clothesline back in 1950 after the joyful washday experience of a happy housewife (with matching daughter) & her beloved box of Rinso Giant Size Laundry Detergent.

Today you don’t see that term used for detergent much anymore, but rather for the “whiter & brighter” smile of celebrities, professionals, students…& happy housewives.

But there’s one more meaning & it’s just for pixel pushers like me. Anything over 92 is considered “whiter & brighter” in a sheet of paper to print a favorite AmperArt edition on.

#21 New & Improved, one of my favorite AmperArt pieces.
First in the Advertising Slogans series.

How does detergent, fabric & paper get “brighter than bright”? Fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) have been used in many industries, notably the makers of laundry detergent since the early 1960s. The blue crystals in laundry detergent are FWAs. The FWAs work by absorbing ultraviolet light, from the sun or fluorescent bulbs, & then re-emitting it as a bluish light to make colored clothes appear brighter & white ones whiter.

Paper mills have been using FWAs since the 1970s, when paper companies found that they could achieve much higher brightness levels than with bleach alone.

In 1992, the world consumption of FWAs was estimated at 60,000 tons, with the detergent industry consuming 50%, the paper industry 33% & the textile industry 17%.*

On the other hand, teeth whitening is achieved primarily with bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide & scrubbing with baking soda — not by spraying your teeth with fluorescent paint.

*Source: Perry J. Greenbaum, a freelance business & technology writer, can be reached at pjgreenbaum@gmail.com. Excerpted from Pulp & Paper Magazine

Vintage ads: vintageadsandstuff.com

Production notes:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed, Brush Script (ampersand)

This edition would have been released a week ago, except I stumbled upon a treasure trove of old magazine ads that are viewable online but also available for purchase. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from these incredible examples of advertising art the way it was done way before Photoshop — ruling pens that leaked, T squares that weren’t square, rubber cement that didn’t stick too well and always kept me in suspense whether a piece of type would fall off the board before it went to press.

These vintage ads are not reproductions; they’re actual printed ads that are clipped from those wonderfully oversaturated color glossy magazines of the past century.

A sad note on the website is told best by the curator’s own words: ” About four or five months ago I suffered a stroke which has caused me to forget much of what I am supposed to do to list ads. I am not able to add scanned images or other things to my site, I just don’t remember how.” I offered to assist and I hope he takes me up on it; his site has given me so much joy.

If you want to see these priceless old ads (some are priceless simply because the original ads were already sold but the digital images are still there) and maybe even own an original, visit his site, vintageadsandsuch.com

If nothing else, please pray for the full recovery of this person so he can once again enjoy adding images to his website. 

#15 Challenge & Spirit

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Several months ago I discovered a fantastic website about everything ITALIAN. That side of my heritage is most likely where I get my artistic talent and most surely my temper. (The other half is German which is probably why I’m a designer rather than a sculptor or painter, and very glad I am.)

 
They say you’re either Italian or you love Italian! So this wonderful website is for all you Italians and those who wish you were:

 www.italialiving.com

While perusing this beautiful and informative site, I came to a very heartfelt note by the website’s founder, Richard J. Michelli, that his brother Raymond, 36 years old, had just passed away. He was challenged by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and confined to a wheelchair most of his life.
 
Then I read the sentence that tore my heart out, as it reminded me of some of my own friends who were physically challenged:

“Raymond was admired for his enduring resolve to transcend his limitations and live each moment to the fullest, as he put a smile on the face of everyone he met.” Each and every attribute applies to those friends I know personally who are so accepting, so persevering, so full of spirit in spite of their debilitating challenge. I need look no further, I realized, than the words posted by Raymond’s friends, as well as his obituary, to create my AmperArt tribute. Every single word on this piece is taken verbatim from those sources.

February, with its celebration of Valentines Day and Presidents Day, is the month of love, courage and determination. With those values in mind, I honor the incredible spirit of physically challenged individuals, in the form of my latest AmperArt piece, “Challenge & Spirit.”

You may download and print a copy of “Challenge & Spirit” for printing and framing–just click on the image above. You’ll find printing and framing suggestions here.

Join other ampersand fans and receive a free AmperArt edition each month. Subscribe here.

 

#12 Peace Love & Joy

 

W I S H I N G   Y O U

AmperArt 12 Peace Love & Joy

T H I S   C H R I S T M A S


#12 Peace Love & Joy
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This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

This is the first AmperArt Christmas design, issued December 2011.